Hi everyone. Thanks for checking in.
PHMH, I feel very blessed that you found your way to my thread. I need cheerleaders as I try to detox from a decade of being told daily that I was insane, delusional, broken and weak.
Thanks for the bump, Kiwi.
I couldn't follow the "hide it until you serve him" advice. I tried for 24 hours, but the idea of being around him, keeping the kids around, pretending everything was okay... I couldn't do it. I needed to be away from him or I was going to just fall into the same trap, believe all the gaslighting. The kids and I live with my parents. I didn't want to see him or talk to him. I couldn't act like it was all okay. It was too much. After all this shit, after he deprived me of love, a job, a home, a community... I couldn't act like anything about his behavior was okay.
So he knows that it's over. He knows I have a lawyer. Right now the lawyer is just there to help us file and he says he'll be nice. I don't really trust that, put I'll push as far as I can. I was upfront that the lawyer represents me and my interests, if he feels like I'm screwing him over, he can get his own lawyer. Not that we have any money left.
The grief is overwhelming. STBXWH is so volatile and unpredictable, but of course that's not something he'll admit to. His side of the story was that the string of betrayals I discovered on DDay 3 were... Well, either they didn't happen, or he heavily implies that it was an overreaction to his "normal" response to my "intense" behavior. Because asking your WS to keep his phone open and available to show he has nothing to hide, you know, so you can try to rebuild trust, that is controlling. That's a bridge too far.
He wants joint custody of the kids. Hell to the effing no. Over and over he's made choices that directly affected their well-being. Again, I can tell they are a pawn he's using to give himself the sense that he has won something. Like we're in the world's most pointless and painful pissing match. He has mentioned that he feels like I'm winning. Tonight I told him that the only win I wanted was to have the honest and faithful husband I thought he could be. He told me, "I'm not a bad person, you know."
This is coming after numerous episodes of him berating me, both through messaging and in front of my parents. He's painting the picture that I'm some parasitic freeloader who's never going back to work. That I'm making all this "passive income" off of him. That his drinking buddies had warned me about him years. Because I'm the real monster, I suppose.
Not that I need to spell it out, but this is such nonsense. How much money has he given me to support the boys during this time? Nothing. Not. A. Cent. In fact, he stole $4000 out of my bank account, claiming that he had no money and had maxed his credit card on "living expenses."
He's also admitted, and I've uncovered a lot of evidence to support, that all through our marriage he has been poisoning the well in terms of our friends, telling his drinking buddies about how broken, crazy, controlling and unhinged I am. I always knew something was... off. My friends thought I was a good person, and they liked him. Our mutual friends thought I was a good person, and they liked him. His friends liked him and thought I... was an unhinged maniac. He even had my mother convinced that she couldn't tell me any bad news, that she had to send it to him so that he could, I dunno, emotionally dumb it down, because I was just so fragile. Then, of course, to me, he would always act like my mom was an unhinged maniac who couldn't even message her own daughter about family emergencies. Like my family didn't care if I knew what was going on.
He says that I'm too controlling because I asked him to stop spending thousands of dollars without permission; was concerned about his drinking, smoking, and binge eating; and had gotten very angry when he had signed a year contract for a job, tying us to a foreign country that I was miserable in, without consulting me. My interest in our stability, health and emotional well-being were always recast as me being irrational, selfish, and abusive.
Weird, but, I never accused him of being abusive. He'd betray me, I'd make up an excuse for him. He'd berate me until I locked myself in a bathroom, sobbing with my ears covered, I'd make up an excuse for him. He'd get in trouble for sexual harassment, causing his friends to turn on him, I'd believe that it was all just a big misunderstanding. His friends would act disdainful towards me and treat me oddly, he'd say I was paranoid and that they liked me a lot, I'd accept his excuse at face value. He would drive like a maniac with our boys in the car just because he was mad and wanted me to be afraid, I made an excuse for him. He stole thousands of dollars from me, which he spent on alcohol, drugs, expensive meals and other frivolous things--I would cry for days, then make an excuse for him, all the while not daring to spend money on myself for things like socks and feminine products, in an effort to try to keep some money in reserve. Good god, he even confessed that he had attempted to rape his best friend and I made an excuse for him!
I've retained a lawyer and we're filing jointly at this point. He is suspicious of everything that I do (what the FLIP is up with liars accusing everyone else of being untrustworthy?!?!!) and I'm bracing myself for him to pull some other stunt and prolong my attachment to him and cause me more pain.
He told me that his friend provided the court with a video of her husband beating her, threatening her with a gun and screaming in the faces of his children, and that the friend still agreed to let her ex have 50/50 custody. Very stupid choice on friend's part, if true.
However, this does seem to reinforce that I should have a lot of documentation handy. I plant to ask the lawyer next week but, in the meantime, any suggestions?
[Edit: thought I had written something wrong, hadn't, but then remembered another example of abuse to add to the list. Because I need to bring this out after all the denial.]
[This message edited by HotPinkFlairPen at 4:58 AM, Saturday, October 7th]